Don’t put them all in one basket

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In the United States, when serial killers spend years evading the police, the FBI does what is known as profiling. What this profile does is that it describes age, habits, lifestyles, and a host of other signatures that could most likely be associated with the personality of serial killers. Once the killer is found and captured, the personality traits are officially confirmed. Pakistanis had known for years that some of the journalists were just paid agents of a political party. Their rhetoric, their arguments, their columns, their talk shows, etc. were those characteristics that would define a Lifafa reporter. Such leaks of audio cassettes only formalize the lifafa work of these journalists. What they practiced and still do is not journalism but rather the work of a spin doctor.

Freedom of journalism is undoubtedly a good thing. However, as I wrote in this space before, there is a difference between evolution and production. The products can be produced quickly. Integrating values ​​into a culture takes a long time. Minds and culture must change. Freedom of journalism is not enough, who denounces the so-called whistleblowers? Who monitors the observers? The ballot alone does not guarantee democracy in a country. Breaking News flashy headlines don’t mean courageous journalism. Actually the catchy sound bites, it doesn’t mean anything at all. This is what happens when people get richer by promoting the ulterior motives of the rich and powerful in the name of a great cause that sounds like journalistic freedom.

Western media would jump to any news of a slight suspicion of a threatened Pakistani journalist or disrupted newspaper circulation or disrupted television broadcast. However, it would be interesting to see if they would find this news worthy of being broadcast or published. More importantly, I wonder what kind of twist they put on this story. In addition, sometimes the finest words in journalism are the ones you don’t say. Leading Pakistani presenters and journalists have remained silent on the tape leak. They literally make the Sherlock Holmes dog who hasn’t barked a real character. The only noise that has been heard concerns the way these recordings were made.

This is the quintessential style of crooks in Pakistan. When caught red-handed, they do not prolong the fight to deny the shameful acts brought to light, but rather attempt to reverse the direction of the anger. Denial turns into deviation, which may be more effective. When the corruption of leading politicians was proven and brought to light in the Panama Papers revelations, the Ayyan Ali episode, and so on, the usual crooks engaged in What-Aboutery? The most important is not what they say, but what they don’t say. They say the pen is better than the sword. Who could have guessed what that phrase would one day mean.

The leak of the audio tape may have convinced the many voters of the PML-N which is already an established truth: that their dear journalists are in the pockets of their beloved leaders, forming a perfect team, manipulating their minds so that ‘they nod. However, the leak would certainly convince Maryam Nawaz to change the way she plays these shenanigans with the media. Maybe, and I could be wrong, would consider putting all of her reporters in multiple baskets where she can pay for them using the various popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, Shiba Inu, etc.

Perhaps she will try to diversify her portfolio of journalists to hire and assign them to various baskets. Maybe she would be shopping more than ever. Maybe she is a fan of Pablo Escobar who once said: “Everyone has a price, the important thing is to know what it is. His party logo appears to be: In Baskets We Trust.

Posted in The Express Tribune, January 9e, 2022.

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